Monday, February 11, 2008
The Bush-McCain show trials
White House photo by Paul Morse
Later today, George W. Bush will announce that he wants to kill Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and 5 other people being held at the pleasure of George W. Bush.
Of course, this will be described as a "trial" but as George W. Bush likes to remind everyone, he is the Commander-in-Chief of the US Armed Forces, meaning that everyone involved in every aspect of these trials works for George W. Bush. That's why most countries decided a long time ago that executive branch trials are not a good idea.
The only good news is that the announcement of a trial does not mean that the guilty verdict will be reached anytime soon. This is because what Bush has in mind is more likely a pre-election stunt to help John McCain by keeping terrorism in the news as much as possible between now and November. Because it was in the last election season that George W. Bush gathered 9/11 families into the White House to inform them --
Today I can tell them something else: With the bill I'm about to sign, the men our intelligence officials believe orchestrated the murder of nearly 3,000 innocent people will face justice.
Right after the election, the whole process stalled, only to be resurrected again now that another election approaches. A few things have changed: from the photo above, when the Military Commissions Act which allows these trials was signed, it's been a rough period for those present. The dude on the left got promoted. But Pace, Rumsfeld, and Gonzales are long gone and Bush and Cheney lost control of Congress.
One person was strangely absent from the bill signing: the man who had brokered the compromises that led to the bill, John McCain. But he has never registered any public objection to it. Pundits might want to ask him whether he actually suppports the bill he helped write, the bill that will now be used to set up these death penalty trials.